Saturday, March 31, 2012

What's New In PreK??

So this week in prek we began our new theme study - community helpers.  I spend over $100.00 on amazing products from teachers on TPT and Teachersnotebook.  Some favorites: community helpers  unit from in the teachers lounge (teachersnotebook) {probably the most amazing thing I've bought to date!!!}, on TPT: deedee willis fire math games, katie mense fire safety unit (FABULOUS!!) and various community helpers units from Julie Lee, Katie Hoss, Ladybug in Kindergarten, Williams sisters, Kindergarten Kiosk, Jamie Mayas, Jamie Chamblee and a pocket chart set from Rachelle Rosenblit. (Yup - I'm broke now - LOL!!)
These products are great.  Most of them I am using in some creative ways.  My prek kids are definitely not ready to do these independently in centers (for the most part, the reason they were created), but I enlarge them at the copy shop and do them whole - or my newest plan... give the kids a copy of the recording sheet on a clipboard and put the image on my whiteboard (with laptop and LCD).  I write on my recording sheet (the whiteboard) as they do theirs.  This week - it worked out GREAT!!!!!  (no smartboard for me - so I kinda created my own).

No pics yet - was so busy doing, didn't get to take pics.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Back from Spring Break :)

So today was the first official day back from Spring Break.  Yesterday (Monday) was a professional day so I went to work bright and early and had a whole bunch of planning and preparation planned - unfortunately the technology was not cooperating.  So, instead I rearranged my room - again.  I am never satisfied with my arrangements - but I'm always up for a change - and nothings permanent!  So in about 4 hours, I moved nearly everything (all by myself). 
Of course, the kids immediately noticed.  "You moved my table? You moved the rug? You moved the computer?"  We'll see if this new arrangement lasts til June..

My biggest annoyance - my teacher technology stuff.  How do you all have your LCD/laptop/elmo arranged and stored - so its not in the way, accessible and how do you handle like 20 feet of extension cords across the floor??? Thoughts/suggestions????

Thursday, March 22, 2012

What's Your Favorite Book??

Hello all :)
The purpose of tonight's post is not so much for me to tell you something, but hopefully, to stir up your teaching juices and tell me about your favorite picture books to read to kids.
I have a whole bunch of favorites - different books for different reasons.
My list (always growing and off the top of my head)
Inside a House that is Haunted (alyssa satin capucilli) - I used to have the book WITH the tape - and the sing-song version is permanently imprinted on my brain ( I would love to find the actual audio again) 
A Bad Case of Stripes (david shannon)  Great story fun to read. Great to talk with kids about doing what makes you happy, not whats popular
The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry and The Big Hungry Bear (audrey wood) Adorable!!
Brown Bear (eric carle  bill martin) A classic
The Hungry Thing (jan slepian  ann seidler)  Great book for phonemic substitution - kids love it!!
The Tenth Good Thing About Barney  (judith viorst) So sad - I read this book every year as part of a writing minilesson.  And every year, I would cry a little (as would the kids).  Amazing way to show how books/authors make you feel emotions

I love reading variations - so first we read a classic - say - the three bears and then read all the fun variations.  The kids love this - sometimes we even decide we like a silly variation better than the original.

I buy way too much stuff for my classroom - but I could always use some book suggestions!  Let me know some of your favorites.
Happy Thursday :)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Leapin Leprechauns!!!!

I have a tendency to go a little crazy with certain things.  It's all in good fun.  Take St. Patty's day, for example (which due to Sat and Spring Break, we celebrated a day early). So on Thursday nite I go to the store and get a bunch of "treasure" that the tricky leprechaun can put in his pot.  (Keep in mind - the kids have been driving me a little nutty lately, I wasn't exactly in the "let me spend $30 bucks on the cranky kids who never seem to listen when I talk" mood. But I did it anyway)
So fast forward to Friday morning. The kids come in - room looks normal. We eat breakfast and head over to computer lab.  While we are at recess (and speech therapy for some) that tricky leprechaun came into our class - knocking down chairs, leaving green footprints and magical leprechaun dust everywhere!!! On my whiteboard, on my table, the microwave - even the toilet!!!
The kids found his magical pot of gold (which was hidden in plain sight).  Then - the insanity began.  They (eighteen 4 and 5 year olds) were RUNNING and SCREAMING - one boy at a pitch that could rival an opera singer, about the footprints and the treasure and more about the footprints. It was crazy. But - they were hooked. And happy. (BTW - this was before the candy!!)
Now for spring break. Ahhhhhhhhhh!!
Then 50 more school days to get it all done.
Oh Boy!!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

What's Up Wednesday

So it's been a week.  Not a great week, just a week.  The week before Spring Break.  I have started a few little tweaks, figuring we could try them out for a few days and pick them back up after Spring Break.  I feel torn because I want to do all this amazingly cool stuff I buy on TPT from the worlds most amazing teachers (and I have created a few myself) - but the stamina of the class is practically non-existent - UGH!!!  Most days I feel they are (behaviorally) like they were in October.  Thankfully, skill wise we are trucking right along and I feel confident with sending each 5 year old up to kindergarten. 
My biggest problem - rug time.  This is normally not an issue for me.  But this class has resisted all my tricks.  SO if anybody is out there I am wide open to suggestions.
As of today we have 52 school days before Kindergarten.  52 days for me to shape their behaviors and continue to challenge their minds. 
Wish me luck :)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

What's new in PreK??

So this past week we have been working VERY HARD on some basic classroom/school behaviors that should have been fixed by now.  I am super structured and consistent.  I also try to make the class fun and have lots of new stuff to do with the kids all the time.  I am starting to wonder if it's time for me to go back to kindergarten myself....Hmmmmmmm 
Kind of frustrating to STILL be working on these, but that is the way it goes sometimes.  This year my group of kids are extremely chatty.  So we are really working on being kindergarteners - looking like kinder kids, sounding like kinder kids, etc...
It seems like a very long road for the next 55 days of school.
Wish me luck
Suggestions welcome :)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

And for some more good news:)

I went to Target tonight and bought an 8GB camera memory card.

Tomorrows plans include: 2 IEP meetings, laminating some new material AND taking as many pics as possible, all while having fun with my little monkeys.  Wish me luck!!

Tomorrow night -- pic uploads (if all goes according to schedule)

Freebie, part 2

Thanks to those who gave suggestions.
I decided to go with google docs.  I hope this works!!!! (finger crossed, eyes squeezed shut!)

Please leave comments if you like it, hate it or otherwise :P
I am a work in progress.
happy almost monday :)

The link to some St. Pattys fun:

**** For the 2 activites that have clip art - print on colored cardstock. Write/print out numbers/words glue and laminate. Kids fill out recording sheets :)

Freebies!! (I'm going to try)

Okay, so I am going to try and upload some freebies that I made for my Prek kids this weekend.
Bear with me :)

Okay - I'm lost. How do I upload a PDF that I created???
Can anyone help me???

Reality sets in :(

So here's the deal.
I have my camera. I have the cords I received with my camera (school camera , I have a ziploc baggie full of random stuff)
I have an unusually small camera memory card that will NOT fit into my computer or my camera flash drive adaptor.
I have lots of pics of my calssroom and kitchen remodel that I can not UPLOAD.
I'm frustrated!!!!!!!!!
So - today I am going to Walmart to buy a new memory card.  One that fits in my computer. And tomorrow I will take as many pics as I can - while I can not retake the Groundhog themed photos, I will take new ones and hopefully still have a few blog visitors.

This blogging thing is not going as smoothly as I had hoped!!